chapter
Identity in Australian Aboriginal Communities
Koordoormitj 1 is the Essence of Life
ByCheryl Kickett-Tucker, Jim Ife
Pages 13

Family, kinship, country and culture are the foundations of “community” for Australian Aboriginal people. These building blocks of Aboriginal society form the basis for the values, beliefs and ways of working that are at the center of the Aboriginal worldview. Unfortunately the Aboriginal worldview and the values attached are often overlooked, unappreciated and disrespected by non-Aboriginal practitioners and scholars of community development. The Aboriginal worldview must be the focal point because it provides a culturally sound, strong and respected lens in which to work with Aboriginal people. It not only recognizes ways of being, but actively honours, respects and truly “sees” the strengths of Aboriginal people across the lifespan. Intrinsically tied to the Aboriginal worldview is identity. The development of identity occurs within the Aboriginal worldview and the outcomes are a sense of place and a sense of belonging—two important concepts that envelope “development” for the Aboriginal community. For many Westerners, you may be lost unless you know where you are going; however, for an Aboriginal person you are lost unless you know where you have come from.